L236 Pleco (Super White Pleco): Ultimate Care Guide

L236 covers various Pleco species including the Cracked Zebra Pleco. Super White Plecos are a subset of L236 with striking white bodies covered in irregular black patterns. Like most examples of L236 in the trade, Super White Plecos are the result of breeding lines that produce particularly attractive patterns. One notable breeding line is the Super White RB Line. This is a popular and expensive group of fish sourced from breeding stock owned by Robert Budrovcan (therefore, “RB” is in the name). True RB Line Super Whites are in high demand and have high prices to match. It’s hard to find a definite natural source location for any L236 individual as many tank bred lines have been produced. L236 tends to be a blanket term for different variants of Hypancistrus sp. that have been bred in captivity over many years.

L236 Pleco
L236 Pleco

L236 Pleco Care

L236 Plecos are carnivores that need rocky environments and warm water for best health. While they will nibble on sinking algae wafers they aren’t a good Pleco species for algae control. This species should be fed various high protein and meaty foods; both live and frozen.

Are L236 Pleco easy to care for?

L236 Plecos are easy to care for but need special tank setups with high water currents and warmer water temperatures than some other freshwater fish species. This can be a good fish but beginners, but because of their high cost are best suited to moderately experienced Pleco hobbyists.


L236 Plecos prefer stable water temperatures in the low to mid-80s, preferably a range between 80° and 84° F.

Water pH

L236 Plecos need water that is close to neutral, usually between 6.5 and 7.5 pH.

L236 Pleco Size

L236 Plecos are smaller than some Pleco varieties, and can reach about 4 inches in most aquariums.

What is the Max Size of L236 Pleco?

L236 Plecos can reach a maximum length of 4 ½ inches with excellent care.

What is the Growth Rate of L236 Pleco?

L236 Plecos can reach maximum size in 3 to 4 years, and are ready to spawn after 2 years. This is faster than some other varieties like Zebra Plecos which can take 4 to 5 years to reach spawning age.

Food & Diet

L236 Plecos are mostly carnivores but appreciate a small amount of vegetable food. This species should be provided various frozen and live meaty foods for best health.

What do L236 Pleco eat?

L236 Plecos are mainly carnivores and need a variety of live and frozen meaty foods. Frozen brine shrimp and bloodworms are good choices as are sinking algae wafers. They should also be given the occasional vegetable snack such as pieces of blanched and cooled cucumber or zucchini.

Do L236 Pleco eat algae?

While L236 Plecos will rasp at sinking algae wafers they aren’t the best choice for controlling algae in aquariums. Algae is an important part of this species’ diet but they should consume mostly meaty foods to ensure peak health.


L236 Plecos can live about 10 years, and up to 15 with excellent care.

Tank Size

L236 Plecos can live in a 20 gallon tank but larger aquariums are needed when keeping more than one individual. This is a peaceful Pleco and many hobbyist keep more than one per tank. It’s important to anticipate the final adult size for every tank member to choose a correctly-sized aquarium.

Tank Setup

L236 Plecos prefer warm water and fast water movement. Strong water currents are important for adequate oxygenation. Warmer water doesn’t support as much dissolved oxygen as cooler water. Because this species is most comfortable in water temperatures above 80° F., it’s critical to ensure enough water movement to keep oxygen levels high.

What is an ideal tank setup for L236 Pleco?

L236 Plecos need tanks with strong water currents, and rocks which form lots of caves. This species has a tendency to wedge itself in small crevices and expand its body to prevent being dislodged. Providing lots of cave choices makes it easier for each individual to find the perfect cave that helps it feel secure. If you’re keeping more than one of these Plecos per tank, providing extra caves is especially important. Fights can break out if enough caves of the right size aren’t available. Prefabricated caves are a possible choice, but this species enjoys claiming territory inside small rockwork crevices.

Like most Plecos the L236 needs clean water and choosing the right filtration system is critical. The best choices are canister filters as they can contain more filter material and create stronger currents. Strong water flow is important to help this species feel more at home and can help increase oxygen levels.

Do L236 Pleco need a cave?

L236 Plecos need caves which can be prefabricated or formed from rockwork arrangements inside their tanks. This Pleco can be particular about cave choice, and it’s best to include extra choices so each fish can find the perfect spot where they feel comfortable.

Do L236 Pleco need driftwood?

L236 Plecos aren’t a wood rasping species and don’t require driftwood in their tanks. Some hobbyists like the look of driftwood or cholla wood, and there’s no reason to avoid this attractive tank addition.


L236 Plecos are often bred in captivity. They easier to breed than some other Pleco species but need breeding groups with more males than females. It’s important to provide roomy breeding tanks with lots of cave choices. A 50 gallon breeding tank can support around 6 individuals.

How do L236 Pleco breed?

L236 Plecos are cave breeder and the male takes care of the brood. Breeding groups should have more males than females and an abundance of caves to allow breeding pairs ample choices. Feed the Plecos a quality, high protein diet of frozen meaty foods and krill granules. Eventually the females will fill with eggs while the males will become more spiky.

The males will guard their caves and a female will approach the potential mating partner. They will tunnel inside the cave and spawn; a process that usually doesn’t last longer than 2 days. After this the male will occupy the cave while tending to eggs and fry.

L236 Pleco eggs

L236 Plecos will lay between 10 to 30 eggs which hatch in about 6 to 7 days. The male will care for eggs and fry until they are free swimming.

L236 Pleco fry

L236 Pleco fry hatch from eggs after 6 to 7 days and must be fed protein rich foods for the first 4 weeks after their egg sacs are consumed. Sinking foods such as Sera Plankton Tabs are best. This is a mostly carnivorous Pleco species and fry should be fed high protein foods.

Male vs Female

It can be difficult to sex L236 Plecos unless they are getting ready to breed. Normally, males have longer and more numerous odontodes on gills compared to females. However, sex differences become more obvious during breeding when females round and fill with eggs and males develop a more spiky appearance.


L236 Plecos are susceptible to common freshwater diseases such as Ich, Velvet, and others. Most diseases can be prevented by maintaining high water quality and feeding a nutritious diet. It’s important to make regular weekly water changes of about 20% and ensure enough filtration is being used. Check water quality regularly with an aquarium test kit: nitrates should test low, preferably 0ppm. If your fish do become infected avoid copper based medicines as most Plecos are more sensitive to copper than other freshwater aquarium fish.

Tank Mates

L236 Plecos are a peaceful species which has the potential to coexist with a range of tank mates. Unfortunately, this Pleco also likes warm temperatures and fast currents which can rule out many common tank mate choices.

Compatible and Incompatible Tank Mates for L236 Plecos

L236 Plecos have a peaceful demeanor but need strong currents and warm water temperatures to be comfortable. These unique needs make pairing difficult with many common take mate species. Angelfish, and kuhli loachs can handle the high temperatures but may not be comfortable with fast water currents. Corydoras and goldfish prefer cooler, temperate waters. Many other possible tank mates are bad matches for elevated temperatures and fast currents, these include: Tetras, Bettas, Oscars, Cichlids, Guppies, Otocinclus, African Dwarf Frog, and shrimp. Snails may be included with caution.

Are L236 Pleco Aggressive?

L236 Plecos aren’t normally aggressive but males can fight over limited caves during breeding. This aggression can be prevented by providing lots of cave choices.

Are L236 Pleco Territorial?

L236 Pleco are somewhat territorial; extra space and caves should be provided if your fish seem stressed. While they like to claim territory they will rarely fight over it except during breeding.

Where can I find L236 Pleco for sale?

L236 Super White Pleco can be hard to find and expensive. Most can be sourced from specialty breeders online.

L236 Pleco Price

L236 Super White Plecos are more expensive than common L236 Plecos. Expect to pay between $200 USD and $430 USD per individual fish depending on size, availability, and breeding line.

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